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Gourmet ghetto: then. Cuisine corridor: now.

Sarah Henry | October 21, 2011 | Food & Drink Story Restaurants Eat and Drink

Chaat and Curries
Not to be confused with the chain of similar name, this family-run restaurant serves traditional Indian and Nepalese dishes (fusion exception: the pesto-garlic naan). At least one local chef is a fan of the lamb karahi. It also delivers. 2026 San Pablo Ave., 510-548-0285, chaatncurries.com

Local 123
This groovy café has a vaguely Euro vibe and a bike-friendly killer back patio. Owners Frieda Hoffman and Katy Wafle turn out honest, simple organic fare, including savory scones, salads with spiced nuts, and seasonal sandwiches. There’s also a strong sense of community here: Think pop-up dinners, cooking classes, and movie nights, plus local artists’ work gracing the walls. 2049 San Pablo Ave., 510-647-5270, local123cafe.com

Little Pablo Taqueria
A touch of the barrio in Berkeley: This authentic mom-and-pop shop serves up standards such as beef-tongue burritos, chicken enchiladas, and chiles rellenos. Around the hood, it also gets props for its friendly service. 2056 San Pablo Ave., 510-548-2223

Luca Cucina Italiana
Chef Luca Rocci gets the thumbs-up for his pork-and-beef-meatball subs (Niman Ranch, natch). Also worth tasting at this no-frills joint are gorgonzola gnocchi and pasta puttanesca. Diners can even customize their plates, mixing 11 different sauces with seven different pasta shapes. 2057 San Pablo Ave., 510-649-9718, lucacucinaitaliana.com

Priya Indian Cuisine
That’s right, another taste of India on the same block. Here, the kitchen serves up multicourse meals, called thalis, as well as à la carte sambars, samosas, masalas, dosas, tandooris, biryanis, and baingan bartha, or oven-roasted eggplant. 2072 San Pablo Ave., 510-644-3977

Gaumenkitzel
At this German café and bakery, a bright space lined with communal tables, Hamburg expats Anja Voth and Kai Flache serve up hearty dishes like sausage, spaetzle, and schnitzel, as well as a popular weekend brunch. Voth makes pretty much everything from scratch, including the tortes, cookies, and kuchen that line the pastry shelves. 2121 San Pablo Ave., 510-647-5016, gaumenkitzel.net



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